W.E. Gladstone and Irish Nationalist leader Charles Stewart Parnell agree the Kilmainham Treaty

The treaty was seen as a victory for Irish nationalism as it brought about reductions in tenant rent-arrears from the government at the height of the conflict known as the Land War, a period of agrarian agitation to improve conditions for farmers and agricultural workers and towards the redistribution of land from mostly absentee landlords to tenant farmers. Although the agreement was supported by Gladstone and most of the cabinet, the Irish Secretary, W.E. Forster, was implaccably opposed and resigned from the government.